Statistics Canada said Friday the country’s economy generated 74,100 net new jobs last month, knocking the unemployment rate down to its lowest level in nearly six years.
The unemployment rate for September fell by 0.2 percentage points to 6.8%–its lowest since December 2008.
Economists had expected the economy to create 20,000 jobs in September and the unemployment rate to hold steady at 7%, according to Thomson Reuters.
“The unevenness in the Canadian economy continues, as September provided another surprise, this time to the upside,” wrote Nick Exarhos of CIBC WM Economics in a note to analysts.
Statistics Canada’s latest labour-market data found 69,300 of the new jobs were full-time work.
The report says the bulk of the jobs were created in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador, while the other provinces saw only small changes.
Ontario added the most jobs with 24,700 new positions, dropping its unemployment rate down by three-tenths of a percentage point to 7.1%.
New Brunswick was the only province that saw its unemployment increase last month–rising 0.9 percentage points to 9.6%.
The report found that more people were employed in food services and accommodation, health care and social assistance, construction, natural resources, finance, insurance, real estate and leasing.
On the other hand, the agency says the economy lost jobs last month in educational services.
The report says young Canadians, aged 15 to 24, held 43,000 more jobs in September, but the youth unemployment rate still increased by 0.1 percentage points to 13.5% as more young people looked for work.
Statistics Canada says the last time the economy added such a large number of jobs was May 2013 when it created 89,500 positions, the majority of which were full time.
The September gain follows a loss of 11,000 jobs for August. Breaking down the results by employment type, the number of entrepreneurs and full-time workers yo-yoed compared to last month’s numbers, noted Exarhos.
“All told a strong result, even if the volatility in the detail gives us pause in giving the labour force too much weight in estimating the underlying health of the Canadian jobs market,” he wrote.